Whenever we read about some nascent movement from a state about seceding from the United States, it's typically met with derision and howls of laughter. Yet now here we have a case of some whiny liberals unhappy with being in the minority in Arizona and who actually want to secede from the state. At what point will the left grow up and accept the results of elections? If Arizona is so bad, why don't they just move?
On the patio of a downtown bar here last Wednesday night, a handful of people gathered over pitchers of beer to plot the creation of America's 51st state.Aww, poor babies are fwustwated. Waaah! Waaah!
With copies of the Arizona constitution before them, they debated how to turn Pima County—a liberal southern swatch of Arizona that borders Mexico and includes Tucson—into "Baja Arizona."
"What's the objective?" one member asked the group, Start Our State.
"Becoming our own state and making our own decisions," said organizer Paul Eckerstrom.
Baja Arizona (the working title) will almost certainly remain a dream, but it suggests the growing chasm between the state's Republican leaders and its frustrated liberal minority.
Republicans say the separatists' effort is, at best, a publicity stunt. "It's their silly way of pushing back," said Lori Klein, a state senator and the nullification bill's chief sponsor. "It's Pima County. They fight us on immigration. They fight us on taxes."Ouch.
"It's no secret that the Democrats took it on the chin this year," said Brian Miller, Pima County Republican Party Chairman. "So instead of regrouping and trying to convince people they are correct in their views, they want to secede." On the other hand, he noted, if Pima County does become its own state, "that would make me the state GOP chairman."
Jokes about the effort, and the liberal history of the region, abound. "The official state license plate would read: Baja Arizona: Your Welfare Is Our Business," wrote Roger Yohem, a columnist for "Inside Tucson Business. "The official state gun would be the Hasbro Super-Soaker."